Brook to face Hatton in Sheffield blockbuster
The top two ranked Welterweights in Britain will clash in a classic Yorkshire versus Lancashire derby to lay to rest any debate on who is the best welterweight on British shores.
The bigger picture for the fight though is the chance to fight for a world title later in 2012, and Brook, who is ranked in the top ten of all the governing bodies, is delighted to be facing Hatton in this hometown blockbuster.
‘This is a fight I’ve wanted for a long time and to get it at the Sheffield Arena means the world to me,’ said Brook. ‘When I first sat down with Eddie [Hearn], he told me that his vision was a sell-out night at Sheffield Arena and now we’re here.
‘We’ve been looking at fights here and in the US but this is the one that gives me the buzz. I know I’m comfortably the best welterweight in Britain and I’m going to put in a devastating performance on March 17 to show the world just that.’
The fight represents an impressive landmark for Hatton, who will fight for the 50th time as a pro when he faces Brook. The Manchester man has held the European and Commonwealth welterweight titles and put in a brave performance against Saul Alvarez last year for the vacant WBC light-middleweight title.
‘This is a massive night and a massive fight but it's nothing new to me,’ said Hatton. ‘It's my 50th contest and I'm very proud of that, so I want it to be a landmark and Kell is in the way of that.
‘It has irritated me a little bit that people regard Kell as the number one in Britain – I've been European champion and was undefeated at that level, it's like being told you are not even the best at school even though you are the best in Europe!’
Promoter Eddie Hearn also revealed that British middleweight star Darren Barker is likely to make his first appearance since fighting Sergio Martinez in October, as the chief support on the night, and that Lee Purdy will face Adnan Amar for the English welterweight title.